Room Conversation with Scientists , Washington, D.C. , 1976-07-08

Svarūpa Dāmodara: There is an international meeting coming up next year on the origin of life, in Japan, Tokyo. They have an international body called International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, and there are participants from all over the world actually. They held this meeting once every four years. Next one is scheduled to be in Tokyo. We were thinking that if we get some material, we'll go and represent there.

Rūpānuga: Scientists will come there from around the world?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, yes, big, big scientists.

Prabhupāda: But they are biased on the point that origin of life is chemical.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, yes. Everybody is coming for them one hundred percent.

Rūpānuga: So what is the discussion then?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, some will, you know, "I have done this experiment, and this looks very possible that about four billion years ago there was some chemical that, ah, get life."

Rūpānuga: So if we go there, there will be a big fight. [laughs]

Svarūpa Dāmodara: It will be very interesting if we can throw some mathematics. [laughs]

Prabhupāda: No, you can challenge them with this, that "Why don't you prepare a chemical egg and give it to the incubator and let life come? If you cannot do that, then don't talk nonsense." This is simple thing. Analyze, take a sparrow's egg, small, analyze what chemicals there are, and combine in the same way. Why they do not do that?

Rūpānuga: It's too hard.

Prabhupāda: Then why do they talk nonsense? You stress on this point. If they say, "Yes, we shall do after millions of years," then he should be challenged that "You give up your title, 'Doctor,' let the sparrow take it. He's doing. You give up, nonsense, your title. Don't talk nonsense. The sparrow, without taking any doctorate title, he's doing that. So what is the value of your doctorate title?" Challenge him. Seriously challenge. This point you present scientists = they cannot do it, it is a certain. It is not possible to be done like that. Spirit soul is different complete from the matter. You have to acknowledge it.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: When there is a change of under...

Prabhupāda: Just like this house, a combination of matter. [backgound talking] But I am within this room, that does not mean I am this matter. Similarly, I am within this body, but that does not mean I am this body. This chemical composition is suitable arrangement, like this house is made with bricks, with lime, with stone, with wood. But as a living being, I am not identified with all those. Similarly, the body, it may be combination of chemicals, but the life is different.

Devotee: So even if they could put the chemicals together, a spirit soul would still have to enter in order for it to become animated.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: My feelings is that even if they make these chemicals, the spirit is never going to come in that medium. Otherwise...

Prabhupāda: No. Because it comes by superior order, not by your order. Daiva-netreṇa [SB 3.31.1].

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So that's good that now science is trying that in about fifty years or so, at the turn of the century, they have a strong hope that they will be able to understand the meaning of life from this chemical concept. But when they see that that's not possible, then they have to come around that what they thought was completely illusion. In that case, our...

Prabhupāda: Case will be strong.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, yes, then everybody will accept.

Prabhupāda: You can challenge that "You cannot do it."

Rūpānuga: You once said that because people are becoming more educated and scientific-minded, they are rejecting these religions. So similarly, because they are becoming more educated and scientific minded...

Prabhupāda: So-called educated, they are becoming fools.

Rūpānuga: But still, they are challenging. But they, for the same reason, will challenge the scientists in due time. Because they become..., if they become more scientific-minded, then they will challenge these statements that the scientists never verify. Constantly they are saying, but they never do anything.

Prabhupāda: Our challenge should be, "Do it." If you cannot do it, then you give up your title, let it go to the chicken. Huh? What is the wrong there, if we say "Dr. Chicken," "Dr. Frog"?

Sadāpūta: Actually these theories of theirs are taught in high schools and colleges as fact, practically. Like the student in Gainesville was telling us that he was taking zoology, and they were teaching evolution, and they were saying that it wasn't a theory anymore but it was a proven fact, and that he was quite dissatisfied with that.

Prabhupāda: Proven fact?

Sadāpūta: Yes, that's how they are teaching it. They don't even teach evolution as a theory anymore, but they say it's been proven as a fact now, what they are teaching.

Prabhupāda: So how it is fact? You cannot do. So what is the fact?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They are cheating. There is also a big man in Bombay, Trombay, who is working on this line. He's a member of this International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. Now they call... In fact, they use a Sanskrit word for this life coming from chemicals. They call jīvana particles of life. So they are also catching this idea that life is nothing but molecules. So along with this article, they are also writing from Trombay. So actually it is worldwide, all over, this concept. In India I think it will be a little more interesting to give seminars along these lines. In India in the universities, the reaction of the... My feeling is that it will be a little different.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. So do it.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Just like that Dr. Sharma who came yesterday, he's very much along our thought. He's very...

Prabhupāda: Who wrote the book?

Rūpānuga: No, no, not that one. An Indian gentleman. He has several degrees in science area, and he has an important post.

Prabhupāda: Dr. Sharma?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Who came yesterday, Prabhupāda. Sanskrit, he knows Sanskrit well? From Haridwar?

Prabhupāda: Oh. So why don't you take him?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, yes. He's very willing to help anything along these lines. But he told me that once we have this Bhaktivedanta Institute and we have this done, he told us that he can find some means by which we can get some grant from the government. There are several funding agencies, and so on, and he's one of the important men for giving grants, this National Institute of Health, and he has several connections with the top rank...

Prabhupāda: Authorities. So keep connection with him.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. And he even wants to write some articles along these lines.

Prabhupāda: Yes. He is favorable, keep in the touch.

[long pause]

Svarūpa Dāmodara: One thing I personally wanted to ask was about the ārati, in offering ārati, now we blow the conchshell, but, ah, coming out the pūjārī from the altar, outside. When the pūjārī blows the conchshell, he does this, especially in Atlanta, and I think in other temples also I have seen, the pūjārī comes out of the...

Rūpānuga: Yes, he comes on this side of the altar and blows the conchshell. Is that all right? It should be behind the curtain or in front of the curtain?

Prabhupāda: Behind the curtain?

Rūpānuga: He should blow it behind.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: No, what he does is, the pūjārī comes out while the other devotees are there, behind the curtain, and then blows the conchshell.

Prabhupāda: To make the sound audible? But there is no harm.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Inside. But this disturbs something to the whole scene, because he has to remove the chain and cross it and then...

Prabhupāda: No, no. Why? There is no need. No need of crossing the chain.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: But it can be done inside then?

Prabhupāda: Why not? It can be done.

Hari-śauri: I think they took that from Vṛndāvana. In Vṛndāvana, they blow the conchshells, they come out onto that little balcony and blow.

Rūpānuga: I also wanted to ask a question, Śrīla Prabhupāda, on dancing in the temple room during ārati, especially maṅgala-ārati. Is it not that the devotees should not turn their back while dancing to the Deity?

Prabhupāda: No, no.

Rūpānuga: And that they should not bump each other or dance with each other personally, distracting the attention from the Deity? Shouldn't all the dancing be focused toward the Deity?

Prabhupāda: Sometimes dancing is done here in peculiar method. [laughs] [laughter] That is not desirable. The dancing, Caitanya Mahāprabhu is showing.

Rūpānuga: You have shown us the feet, changing of the feet with arms upraised, not with the back to the Deity.

Prabhupāda: They do it out of sentiment, but that is not very good.

Rūpānuga: Also there's something. They bump one another with the drum or with each other's bodies. They dance and they bump like this. That is not bona fide, is it? It is very popular in our movement now.

Prabhupāda: They are inventing. What can I do? If you invent your own way...


Devotee: I have a question, Śrīla Prabhupāda. At what point is a householder to know when he should leave his family or her family?

Prabhupāda: After fifty years of age.

Rūpānuga: Fifty years old.

Prabhupāda: When he is fifty years old, then he can think of leaving household.

Devotee: What if the spouse is very antagonistic towards Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Antagonistic?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Opposed.

Prabhupāda: So that is not the remedy, because afterwards he give up and become a sannyāsī, and then again become this gṛhastha. This is not good. Opposition is already there, especially in the Western countries; they will never agree. So why do you marry? That is understood. Huh? Both the boys and girls trained in such a way that there must be opposition. So that is expected, that in your married life there will be opposition. So why do you marry?

Hari-śauri: He's talking about if you're married before you come to the movement and one person wants to join the movement and the other person is not very agreeable.

Prabhupāda: No. Any... It is not because there is opposition, therefore I give up family life. Unless one is mature, there is no need of artificially giving up family life. The best thing is if one can remain without marriage. That is very good. No botheration. Hmm.

[devotees offer obeisances]

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa. All glories to Prabhupāda! [end]